Movie Review: The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Will I get ex-communicated for seeing this movie?

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany, Alfred Molina

Directed by: Ron Howard
Continue reading

Movie Review: X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

We all owe Joel Schumacher a bit of an apology.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Ian McKellen, Famke Janssen, Anna Paquin, Kelsey Grammer, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore, Aaron Stanford, Vinnie Jones, Ben Foster, Ellen Page, Patrick Stewart

Directed by: Brett Ratner
Continue reading

Rome, Day Twenty-Six

One more sleep before we leave. Well, a half-sleep really, as we have a very early flight. We are so ready to be home. 4 weeks is too long a vacation, especially when it’s a busy vacation, where you have to buy 3 meals a day and stuff.

Yesterday, we went to Vatican City… only to learn that the Sistine Chapel was closed. Who closes on a random Thursday? Ah well, we went to St. Peter’s Basilica instead, then walked around and looked at stuff. We did a really silly tourist thing called the History Elevator, which had panaromic screens and moving seats that brought you on a tour of historical Rome. We thought it would be stupid fun, but it was just stupid. After that, the Pantheon, then we headed back to our hotel to freshen up.

For dinner, we had Ethiopian, which oddly made us homesick. It was the closest approximation to food that we eat at home that we’ve had in awhile. The pasta and pizza here aren’t that similar to the stuff we eat at home. The guy at the restaurant was pretty surprised we were there, and even more surprised that we enjoyed the food and knew how to eat it. I don’t think the white people frequent his joint.

Our plan for today was to wake up early and go to the Sistine Chapel… but we both slept like shit, so we slept in. When we got there, the line-up was all along the wall of the city, almost to the entrance of the square. I’d say it looked a good 2 hours long in the hot sun. Given that I’ve already explained my stance on waiting in long lines to see art, I think you can guess that we skipped it.

We really don’t feel like doing anything else right now. There are other museums, but we’re just too effing tired man. So we hopped on a metro to this internet cafe and looked to find movie times for an English showing of X-Men 3. We just want to sit somewhere cool and relax. Too bad our hotel room sucks so bad, maybe we’d just stay in and read. We’ll go eat again soon then see the movie, our third of the trip. Which is a lot, but it’s really hard to fill 11 hours a day of stuff every day for weeks on end.

Overall, our trip has been great. It’s just too long, which we knew it would be. But, getting here is so hard and expensive that we didn’t want to do it for just a week. 3 one-week trips would be more ideal, but would also be at least twice as expensive. We’ll probably go see the Spanish Steps after this, then call it a vacation in terms of sight seeing.

Tomorrow, the long haul home. When we get there, I don’t think we’ll emerge from our apartment for a solid 48 hours.


Rome, Day Twenty-Four

All vacations lead to Rome, our final destination before home. We left Florence this afternoon for Rome, a short 1.5 hour train ride. We took a Eurostar, which are much faster, and rode first class. I’d hate to think of what second class would be like, cause it was the most uncomfortable train ride yet (well, that I sat for… smelly, snoring guy made the other one more uncomfortable I suppose, but, then again, it’s not like we were sharing a bed). The seats were fancy enough, with electronic adjustability. But then they added headrests, supposedly for comfort. Unfortunately, these things jut out from the seat, and felt like concrete. So your head is pushed forward for the whole ride.

Other than that, and getting lost a couple times, today has been good. Our hotel is two minutes away from the train station, so that was nice. The train station is part of a big mall, so we did some shopping. I’ve decided that I’m not that interested in reading On the Road right now, or the other book I bought in Verona, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Maybe if I’d read Kerouac earlier in the trip I’d be interested, but right now, the last thing I’m interested in is reading about a neverending trip. I already feel like I’ve been on one, and am ready for it to stop. So I bought new books that will take us through to home. I’ll read more of On the Road at another time in my life, I think.

After freshening up at our hotel, we headed out to see Rome. A little late to actually go into anything, but we like checking out the town without an agenda when we first get there. The first stop was the Colosseum for gazing, pictures, and dinner. We walked around there a bit til we got to San Giovanni Laterno, then took the Metro to go see Trevi Fountain. I got turned around a few times getting there, making us walk more than necessary, but the weather was nice so it wasn’t too bad.

Everything looked nice, but I’m getting a bit tired of all the crowds. Florence was the worst for that yesterday. We headed out to see the David at the Academie, only to see a line around the block. We skipped it to go to the Uffizi, only to see a lineup that had to be 2 hours long just to get in. Maybe it’s just me, but no museum is worth waiting 2 hours to see. If I wait that long to see Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, then I want the experience to roughly resemble what it would feel like to receive oral sex from a choir of angels. Needless to say, we skipped it. Instead, we saw a science museum with 18th and 19th century instruments, and Santa Croce Cathedral, home to the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Machiavelli, and Galileo. We eventually did wait twenty minutes or so to see the David. By the time we got in, I was so hungry that I didn’t care to see anything else but the David– which is impressive.

Everything closes around 6:30 pm, so there’s not much else to do with your night other than eat (unless you’re of the party persuasion). We found a theatre showing an English version of The Da Vinci Code and watched that to help kill the night. Review to follow, but I will say that it was neat to see a bunch of Paris stuff that we had visited last week.

Two more days of braving the crowds, which should be insane at Vatican City tomorrow. Oh well, the Saints pretty much have to go there.

GO OILERS! (Have they lost since I started signing out that way?)

Florence, Day Twenty-Three

We found a new hotel last night. It’s probably the smallest room we’ve had yet, with no air conditioning, and our private bathroom is down the hall instead of an en suite… but, the toilet actually disposes of human waste. So it’s a fucking palace compared to the last place (even if the toilet had worked in the last one, it was still a dump. You could shower on the toilet, and, in fact, probably had to as there was only two inches between the two).

This morning wasn’t that much fun dealing with all that and lugging around our backpacks from the old hotel to the train station holding place to the new hotel in the sweltering heat. But, other than that, Florence has been good. We walked through a market for a bit, then went to the Duomo. There, we climbed to the top of a tower for a view of the city. We do that everywhere. The view is always good, but it’s also always a fuckload of stairs. I was happy to get to our new place and collapse into bed, then shower.

After a siesta, we went for dinner, where we sat close to a couple from Kansas City. They chatted us up and were good people. It was nice to exercise my English language skills again. The dude was shocked when I told him that we only have 3 downs in Canadian football.

I’ve now read 4 books on this trip. We had to buy more to get us through.

Tomorrow, the David!


Florence, Day Twenty-Two

We arrived in Florence this evening, and something happened that was so terrible, travel-wise, that I don’t even want to talk about it. Nothing damaging, everyone is fine. It just involves accommodations and toilets not flushing and… forget about it. I will try not judge an entire city based on one potty.

Still love Verona, even though we didn’t do a whole hell of a lot there. We did all the silly Romeo and Juliet stuff, which was fun. We had a pretty fabolous dinner as well, full of a bunch of seafood that we would never have ordered if we knew that we’d be getting it, but enjoyed it anyway.

Today, we woke up, did some laundry, had some good pizza for lunch, then got on the train to get here… and this thing happened. And ruined my day. Kim is currently looking for another place for us to stay for the next two nights. We should probably eat dinner as well, as long as we can hang on to it until after we get a new room.

In other news, Kim’s dad thoughtfully called for us yesterday to wish us a happy anniversary. Sadly, we did not get the call and instead just got a message that he called. Which made me think all morning that something horrible had happened and someone was dead. I kinda wanted to vomit a bit. We finally got a hold of him, and it was nothing.

I kinda want to go home soon.